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Govannen - Healing Waters
The Legends of the Chalice Well
Govannen Healing Waters

Chris Conway -
tin & low whistles, keyboards, acoustic 9string guitar, zither, theremin, bamboo flute, kalimba, percussion, vocals
Dan Britton -
bodhran, percussion, acoustic guitar, vocals
Bridget McMahon - vocals, bodhran
Adele McMahon - violin
special guest
Vikki Clayton - vocals 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12


The Chalice mp3
The Maids of Mourne Shore mp3
The Spirit of the Well mp3
The Wayfarer mp3
A Stór mo Croí mp3
The Yew Tree Knows mp3
The Butterfly mp3
The Heart of the Well mp3
Silver Rainbow/Gwezenn An Avalou mp3
Lady of the Lake mp3
11 Cad é sin don té sin mp3

The Chalice in the Well



Legends come to life.
Celtic traditional and new atmospheric music combine with beautiful results celebrating the healing waters of The Chalice Well at Glastonbury.

Chris was asked to make a Celtic new age album and he immediately thought of the band Govannen who usually played more mainstream Irish music.

He then chose his favourite tunes and added some of his own, plus some atmospheric music ideas and got the band members to add their parts.

Vikki was keen to be involved in the project and her contributions were icing on the cake.


Alan Stivell, Paul Winter, Donal Lunny, Brendan Keenan, Diaouled Ar Menez, The Moving Hearts, Gwerz, Clannad, Vidna Obmana, Robert Rich, Stephan Micus

Govannen's best selling album.

Everyone involved was thrilled with how this album came out. The Chalice Well now stock it in their shop.

Some tracks were used on a DVD about the Welsh legend The Mabinogion.

CC's favourite track -The Yew Tree Knows


The Healing Waters collection evokes a magical place. I visited the Chalice Well last week for the first time. You have certainly caught the spirit of the location. The track Cad E Sin Don Te Sin is exceptional. Your low whistle solo is spine-tinglingly sumptuous.
Mike C. Devon, UK

What we thought: Magical and transporting
I really loved listening to this CD, and I have taken it home! don't tell anyone! - Anne

The Holistic Directory

A quartet of Chris Conway (flutes, synths, guitars, etc.), Dan Britton
(bodhran, guitars, etc.), Bridget McMahon (vocals, bodhran), Adele McMahon (violin), with occasional guest vocals from Vikki Clayton. Govannen took their name from the Celtic Blacksmith God, and HEALING WATERS is apparently inspired by "The legends of the chalice well".

All very Celtic folk styled, with a slightly sweet symphonic edge, the over-riding feel is of an Alan Stivell album, so Stivell in fact that it's surprising that there are no harps on it, although there are many harp-like sounds. It's all pretty rich and quite overblown really, sometimes a little like the music in "The Lord Of The Rings" films, and also with a hint of Andreas Vollenweider. It's all quite evocative, and I could well imagine a crowd of mystic people standing around a mist shrouded well.
Audion Magazine

track by track
1. The Chalice 5.40 (Conway)
Zithers ring out this new tune by Chris, which has a magic processional feel. One can imagine the chalice being carried at the head of a procession up the Glastonbury Tor.

Chris - zithers, tin whistles, keyboards, percussion
Dan - percussion
Vikki - vocals
2. The Maids of Mourne Shore 5.11(trad Ireland)
When sung with WB Yeats's words this traditional Irish tune is the well known song Down By The Sally Garden. "Sally" is a corruption of the Gaelic word for willow. This tune is given the chill-out feel by Govannen in this version.

Chris - tin & low whistles, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Dan - bodhran, percussion, vocals
Bridget - vocals
Adele - violin
Vikki - vocals

3. The Spirit of the Well 2.17 (Conway)
A quiet interlude with the healing waters of the well and some water spirits. Vikki & Bridget duet beautifully.

Chris - zither, keyboards, water sounds
Bridget - vocals
Vikki - vocals

4. The Wayfarer 6.29 (Conway)
Chris wrote this tune 15 years ago and has played it in all kinds of combinations. Though written in Breton and medieval styles, the skip in the beat is pure Conway. Bridget's lovely spirited voice again features.

Chris - tin & low whistles, keyboards, acoustic 9string guitar, percussion
Dan - bodhran
Bridget - vocals
Adele - violin

5. A Stór mo Croí 3.04 (trad Ireland)
An Irish ballad - which translates as "O Love of my Heart" - is a stunning feature for the violin of Adele, and often played at the start of Govannen concerts

Chris - piano, keyboards
Adele - violin

6. The Yew Tree Knows 7.57 (Conway)
This is another magical Conway concoction featuring his low whistle. Inspired by Yew trees like the ones at Chalice Well, just up the hill for the Vesica Pool, and their longevity - if trees could talk... The yew was a sacred tree to the Druids and the Celts. Archaeologists found the remains of a 2000 year old yew stump near the Well, and it is likely that there was a processional pathway of yews in ancient times.

Chris - low whistle, zither, kalimba, keyboards, percussion
Dan - percussion
Bridget - vocals, harmonizer
Adele - violin, harmonizer
Vikki - vocals

7. The Butterfly 2.44 (trad Ireland)
A favourite Irish jig of many, and a regular feature at Govannen concerts. The African kalimba, (thumb piano) add a spring in the step to this version.

Chris - tin & low whistles, keyboards, kalimba, percussion
Dan -, acoustic guitar
Bridget - bodhran
Adele - violin

8. The Heart of the Well 2.10 (Conway)
The healing waters return, with Adele's violin shining again, shadowed by Chris's bamboo flute.

Chris - bamboo flute, keyboards, water sounds
Adele - violin

9. Silver Rainbow/Gwezenn An Avalou 3.10
(Conway/trad Brittany)
These tunes were bookends to the song Silver Rain on Chris's debut '95 Sounds Like Rain songs album, so it is with fondness that Govannen made these new arrangements. The 2nd tune is a traditional Breton tune Chris heard from legendary band Diaouled Ar Menez.

Chris - tin & low whistles, acoustic 9string guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Dan - bodhran, percussion,
Bridget - vocals
Vikki - vocals

10. Lady of the Lake 6.47 (Conway)
An atmospheric piece with Vikki's ethereal voice playing the lady with sword rising from the mist and water. Also featured is Chris's beloved theremin perhaps taking the role of Excalibur.

Chris - keyboards, theremin, water sounds
Bridget - vocals, harmonizer
Adele - violin, harmonizer
Vikki - vocals

11. Cad é sin don té sin 5.02 (trad Ireland)
The title loosely translates as "Since it's no one's concern, no one should care". It features the low whistle. A well known Irish song, Chris first heard pipe/whistle maestro Brendan Keenan play it.

Chris - low whistle, acoustic 9string guitar, keyboards, percussion
Dan - bodhran, percussion

12. The Chalice in the Well 2.14 (Conway)
A legend states that the Holy Grail or Chalice was hidden in a stream above the Chalice Well, thus giving the well water its renowned properties. Mixing the themes of The Chalice, and the Well interludes paints the scene in the mind.

Chris - zither, keyboards, water sounds
Vikki - vocals

Produced by Chris Conway

govannen healing waters first artwork
original release artwork

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Govannen - Healing Waters

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Govannen - Healing Waters